Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Planning is essential, plans are worthless. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

This from a man who ran the campaign against Nazi Germany, one of the greatest beach landing (remember D-Day) and a very successful management of often difficult allies. How can the typical project manager, even a PMI certified one, argue with him? You can’t and he’s right. The process of planning is essential because it provides you with (if done properly):
  • Scope of the project
  • Boundaries and key players
  • Benefits and potential costs
  • Risks and mitigation plans
  • Process to manage change requests
  • Key elements needed for success and a clear definition of what success is
  • Who you team is
  • Timeframe
NOW – that’s a lot of benefit coming from Planning, and if you do a good job, performing requirement and design reviews (#1 Risk according to Capers Jones) – you have just put yourself in a good position to be successful. Now, if you’re like many project managers, you distribute your plan, store it nicely and have a fancy kick off meeting – to bad that by the time saved the entire plan, it’s out of date. Something happened: a business priority change, external impacts, team change – something somewhere making the perfect plan something less than perfect….when you hit the beach sand often gets in the eyes and causes some problem….SO, what do you do? The obvious is KEEP PLANNING, planning is not a onetime step, it a recurring , never ending – at least until the project is done and dusty. All I can say is – I like Ike!


  1. This quote is one of my favorite. It's project management in the pill.

    When you've done your homework well and you know environment you'll work in it will be much easier to adjust a course as different issues happens. And we can be fairly sure that unexpected issues will happen.

  2. Although Omar Bradley (his #2) said that on the morning of the invasion, he got up early, and spent the first hour of the day reading a western novel. He trusted his subordinates - and knew when to let go.

  3. There are a wide range of everyday and on-the-job activities from which you can learn about management and even enhance your management skills which offers you job openings.